Opening animation for TISEA Electronic Theatre.

This animation was commissioned for the opening of the TISEA (Third International Symposium on Electronic Art) electronic theatre. TISEA was held in Sydney, Australia in November 1992.

TISEA Opening Animation. Copyright 1992 Jon McCormack.

The idea behind this animation was to look at the implications of artificial life to the notion of what life is, and our relationship to our machines and the culture that is begining to surround us through technology.

All the animation is entirely procedural -- created by the machine. The colours, textures and motions were evolved using genetic evolution techniques. They are three dimensional surface equations, dependent on time. The equations that represent the surface are quite complex, but their complexity was evolved from much simpler equations from which they began.

The work tries to extract properties of real objects (e.g water) and to abstract those properties in an algorithmic sense. Such abstracted properties can then be manipulated within the computer which creates the animation. This is a key element of computational synergistics where the computational power of the computer, combined with real-time visual feedback allows the development and understanding of a phenomenon that would be difficult or impossible to develop without such a close relationship between mind and machine (see also supplemental material).

All procedural software was written by Jon McCormack. The animation was rendered with Wavefront Technologies Advanced Visualizer software. The titles and digital composition were created with Wavefront's Video Composer (now known as just Composer).


This work was produced with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission. In particular I would like to thank Gary Warner for his support. I am also grateful to Wavefront Technologies for supplying their Advanced Visualizer visualisation software, under their Independent Artist Program. Animation and computing facilities were provided by CIPAG, Monash University.

A bigger version of this image can be obtained by clicking on the small one below.

Here is a brief Quicktime movie (2.44Mb) from the animation.

VHS Copies (both PAL and NTSC) are for sale for non-broadcast (ie home) use only. Please contact me by email if you are interested in purchasing a copy. Residents in the U.S.A., Canada and Europe may be interested in distributers who carry my work.

A documentary of TISEA was made by director Johnathon Cohen. You may also be interested in my appearance in the film. This animation (and music) appears in the documentary.

A list of screening venues is in progress but is not yet available on-line.

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